Aging Gracefully

What does it mean to age gracefully, and how can one hope to do that in a youth-obsessed world where anti-aging is all the rage? We think it starts with reframing what aging is all about, and reclaiming what’s in it for you.

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Aging Gracefully — what that means to us, why it matters, and how to go about doing it well.

From challenging dominant cultural norms and entrenched anti-aging messages, to feeling comfortable in our own skin as the decades pass, we discuss what it means to grow older in a culture that tends to glorify youth.

We offer suggestions for reclaiming your own aging experience. And we offer some experiments to help you expand your assumptions about aging, to release some of your judgments about it, and to more fully embrace its positive possibilities.

“Aging Gracefully” Episode Highlights

  • First, we cover a listener question: Do collagen supplements live up to the marketing hype?
  • Then, Aging Gracefully: The fear we’ve been taught to have about losing social value and relevance as we age
  • Why women feel greater cultural pressure to maintain a youthful appearance
  • The financial and psychological burdens that result from our obsession with staying young
  • Aging as a discovery and growth experience vs. a scary, losing proposition
  • The value of questioning the idea that we become less desirable as we age
  • Challenging assumptions and social norms regarding who we should be attracted to; Pilar shares her experience
  • Aging gracefully in the face of our chronic disease epidemic — the value of maintaining good health and high vitality

Define the age range of the people you tend to be romantically attracted to, and then question why you chose those ages. Could you expand it a few years either way? If not, why not?

1) Identify one or more older role models who are aging in a way you admire. Keep a photo of them on a bulletin or Pinterest board to remind you how attractive and cool aging can be.

2) Develop a vision for your future self as someone who has aged gracefully. Think of the qualities you want to grow or develop as you age, and start to invest yourself in a version of aging that looks and feels good to you.

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Have you told your friends and family about The Living Experiment? If you dig it, please do! Every recommendation from you means a lot.

We’d also love to have you connect with us on Facebook. Tell us about your experiments, and share your thoughts, stories and reflections there.